If there was a contest today and your employees, team members or clients were asked to vote – would you win leader of the year?
If you were asked to vote – what would make the leader of the year in your mind? Would it be their knowledge, their skillset, their example, their commitment, or the way they treated their people?
My daughter Andie is in third grade. She has loved school every year and done well. She has loved every teacher she has had, but this year has been something different. This year however, her teacher Mrs. Allison Moschetti, is her absolute favorite.
Mrs. Moschetti was just voted teacher of the year, so it isn’t just Andie that thinks she is doing a great job. And I want each of us to learn a couple of things about leadership from her that has set her apart from her peers.
Before the school year started, we got a phone call from Mrs. Moschetti, who introduced herself, told us how excited she was to be Andie’s teacher and then she scheduled an appointment to come and meet with us and Andie in our home.
She came over and spent about 30 minutes with us. She got to know Andie mostly, although we all had great conversation. She asked what our expectations were for the year, what Andie’s expectations were, what concerns we had, what concerns she had, and what she was looking forward to.
I was completely blown away by this in home visit! I started to think about it. She has 30 kids in her classroom. If she was going to meet with each of them in their homes before school started, she was dedicating more than 15 hours of her summer vacation. I have heard so many teachers take the position that, “If I got paid more, I would try harder.” That is not leadership that is victim mentality. Leaders do more and because of who they are and what they do – they stand out.
I asked Mrs. Moschetti why she did the in home visit and she said, “My goal is to partner with your daughter to create an incredible school year. I need to get to know her and to get to know you. I want to see her circumstances at home because it helps me to understand where she is coming from. And most importantly I want her to know that I love her and am excited to be her teacher.”
I was sold after the in home visit. Here’s why. I think one of the three main stumbling blocks that hold leaders back is simply laziness. https://tybennett.com/the-three-biggest-obstacles-a-leader-must-overcome/ (Link to post I wrote on this) If a leader is willing to go above and beyond, they will typically make an impact. I also believe the same as Mrs. Moschetti that Partnership Is The New Leadership. She approached teaching as a partnership with her students the same way every leader needs to approach leadership as a partnership with their people. And I also love the fact that what drove her leadership was love. Before she really knew Andie, she loved her. Why? “You can love people without leading them, but you can’t lead them without loving them.” (One of my favorite quotes from John Maxwell) I know that her love for Andie has grown throughout the year as she has gotten to know her better and served her more, but what drove her leadership from the beginning was love.
I could tell you about how skilled Mrs. Moschetti is as a teacher. I could talk about how fun she is and about how she keeps the kids engaged. I could tell you about her knowledge and her ability to explain complex ideas in simple terms that third graders can understand.
However that is not what made her teacher of the year. All of that skillset is assumed. As a parent, I assume she has the ability to teach. That’s a give in. And your people assume you have the knowledge and skill to do your job. That’s a give in.
What sets her apart is that she loves her students. That she partners with her students. And that she goes above and beyond.
That’s why she is teacher of the year. Think back – do you remember your favorite teacher? I bet you do.
Now think of yourself as a leader. Would you be voted leader of the year?